Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter has said his company expects Grand Theft Auto V’s release date to be announced by November at the latest.
Speaking in a report published today, the outspoken analyst believes we may see a date announced at Gamescom, and reckons it is inconceivable publisher Take-Two can achieve its second-half targets without the aid of GTA V.
“We expect a GTA V release date announcement by as late as November,” he said. “There was no such announcement at E3, making a pre-holiday release less likely (but still possible). An announcement at Gamescom in August remains a possibility.”
“We expect solid contribution from Borderlands 2 and BioShock: Infinite,” he added, “and believe that these games plus this year’s NBA 2K instalment could combine to deliver profits close to the last GTA.”
“However, it is inconceivable that Take-Two could generate profits at twice the rate without significantly higher sales, and these sales could only come from the launch of GTA V.”
Pachter observed that a pre-holiday launch for the open-world crime sequel is on the cards providing a launch date is announced this month.
Furthermore, he expects a late October launch window for the title, observing that past GTA titles have traditionally hit retail shelves in time for Halloween, bar GTA IV due to technical hiccups.
"If such an announcement were to occur [at Gamescom], we continue to believe that Tuesday, October 23 or Tuesday, October 30 are realistic dates for GTA's release," he said.
"Many of the game's predecessors had late-October release dates, while GTA 4 was unexpectedly delayed out of an October release due to technical difficulties with the PS3 version. The recent delay of BioShock Infinite's release date from October 2012 to February 2013 strengthens our belief in a fall release for GTA, as Take-Two would likely want to avoid releasing two such important games in close proximity, potentially impairing the spending ability of some gamers."
“It appears that Take-Two’s weak share price reflects the lack of investor confidence that the game will come out this year, or even in the foreseeable future,” Pachter concluded.
GTA V was announced in November 2011 via a brief teaser trailer, though aside from a couple of screenshots we’ve seen nothing on the game since. Rockstar has kept mum on the subject of a release date, though Take-Two did note during it latest financial report that the game is “making substantial progress.”
Stay tuned for more details on the game at PSU.com as we get them.